The Best Episodes of The 11th Doctor, Ranked

Play the doctor for three seasons and four specials MattSmithThe 11th Doctor is one of the best incarnations of this iconic role. With an innate love of flies and fezzes, the 11th Doctor is easily the quirkiest and most hilarious incarnation of the modern era Doctor Who. After an iconic and absolutely perfect performance by David Tennant as the 10th Doctor, Matt Smith faced a very difficult task as the 11th Doctor. But Smith immediately made it his own, and with his very first episode and his odd combination of fish fingers and custard, fans fell in love with his version and made the role his own.

Update August 27, 2023: This article has been updated with even more great episodes starring Matt Smith as the world’s most famous Time Lord.

In his three years as a doctor, Matt Smith appeared in many brilliant episodes that rank among the best in modern timesDoctor Who. So grab your sonic screwdrivers and tie your bow tie because we rank the best Doctor Who Episodes with the 11th Doctor.

12 The angels take Manhattan

Angels take Manhattan
BBC Studios

This heartbreaking episode offers everything fans love about the series. A chilling return of the infamous Weeping Angels, a stunning noir-style time period and gripping, incredibly emotional lyrics. “The Angels Take Manhattan” is an action-packed story and another brilliant effort by the Weeping Angels. The real appeal, however, was the fantastic, yet deeply harrowing, ending to Amy Pond and Rory Williams. Alongside River Song, the deaths of Amy and Rory rock the Doctor and audiences in one of the 11th Doctor’s most emotional moments.

11 A city called Mercy

Doctor Who A town called Mercy

Astonishing, Doctor Who hadn’t filmed a cowboy-themed episode since 1966’s The Gunfighters. Input “A City Called Mercy”, in which the Doctor, Amy and Rory travel to the Wild West, where they encounter a cyborg named Gunslinger who is holding the small town of Mercy hostage until its residents deliver an alien doctor named Kahler-Jex. Written by frequent series writer Toby Whithouse, the episode contains all the cowboy quips one would expect from an episode from this period. However, it also has a lot of depth, because the doctor is faced with a moral conundrum to which there is no easy answer. There’s also a nice twist that makes things interesting.

10 The lodgers

Doctor Who, the lodger

At First Sight, episode of the fifth season “The Lodgers” shouldn’t work. The Doctor is stuck in this on present-day Earth, and while Amy Pond is trapped in a TARDIS that refuses to materialize, he decides to lodge with a regular guy named Craig – played by James Corden, who develops a crush on his best is girlfriend Sophie – to help with his investigations.

It’s a low-stakes, low-budget episode, but it’s also hilarious. Smith’s insane performance, excellent chemistry with Corden, and brilliantly written dialogue make what should have been a memorable dud a genuinely entertaining showcase for The Eleventh Doctor.

9 The Doctor’s Time

Doctor's time
BBC Studios

As the last episode of Matt Smith “The Time of the Doctor” had a lot going for it and gave Matt Smith a satisfying and emotional ending to his character. Luckily, The Time of The Doctor definitely delivers. Let the Doctor protect the city of Christmas from the attacks of his deadliest enemies. The Cybermen, Weeping Angels and of course the Daleks; This action-packed episode sees the Doctor in his weakest state yet.

At least before he unleashes some very powerful regeneration attacks on the Daleks. The regeneration scene is obviously very emotional, but Time of the Doctor is the perfect ending and we couldn’t ask for a better ending or overall sequel.

8th The Time of Angels/Flesh and Stone

Doctor Who The Time Of The Angels 1

series five two-parter, “The Time of Angels/Flesh and Stone” Here Matt Smith could really show what he can do. Featuring the terrifying Weeping Angels, the second appearance in the story revolves around the Doctor, Amy and River Song navigating a stone maze filled with the preserved remains of an ancient race who take the form of angels. Tense and spooky from start to finish, these two episodes proved to be the perfect way to bring back one of the Doctor’s worst enemies, reintroduce the character of River Song, and showcase the full spectrum of acting talent Smith brings to the role could.

7 The Impossible Astronaut/Day of the Moon

Doctor Who - Impossible Astronaut
BBC Studios

Opening with the Doctor’s sudden death in the opening minutes, these episodes do their best to make Season 6 off to a truly epic start. The tension in “The Impossible Astronaut” builds and builds until it culminates in a cliffhanger that stunned fans when it first aired in 2011.

Related: Doctor Who: Spin-offs We Want to See

Then they tuned in the following week, just for “Day of the Moon” to do exactly the same. The two-parter revolves primarily around the Apollo 11 mission in 1969 and forms the main story arc of the series. It introduces a terrifying new villain, The Silence. Even bolder and bolder than anything before, these episodes marked the start of the second season of The Eleventh Doctor, and it did it in style.

6 The eleventh hour

Doctor Who - Eleventh Hour
BBC Studios

When The 11th Doctor first appeared, fans were skeptical that Matt Smith could follow David Tennant’s role as the iconic protagonist. Luckily, Smith became a new fan favorite, and “The Eleventh Hour” is one of the episodes to thank for that. From the start, the episode was an immersive, action-packed and adrenaline-pumping ride that introduced fans to the cracks that abound during Matt Smith’s role as the Doctor.

Likewise, we meet the unique villain called Prisoner Zero, who can transform into any life form he has seen before, and for most of the episode, it’s the incredible Olivia Colman. The end of the episode is an experience for the ages as Matt Smith delivers a gripping speech before establishing himself as the 11th Doctor in his iconic tweed suit and bow tie.

5 The Opening of Pandorica/The Big Bang

Doctor Who villains
BBC Studios

Acted as the finale of the fifth series “The Opening of Pandorica/The Big Bang” features everything fans love about the show and more. Set in different locations and time periods, from ancient Roman Britain to Stonehenge to a modern-day museum, this two-partner is an epic culmination of the previous 13 episodes.

Related: Doctor Who: The Best Episodes of The 13th Doctor, Ranked

The plot revolves around the Pandorica, a large box-like prison designed to house the greatest threat to the universe. This is where it gets interesting, as the Doctor’s greatest enemies are the Daleks, the Cybermen, Sontarans, Judoon and more. They come to the conclusion that he poses the greatest threat to the universe, so they try to imprison him. “The Pandorica Opens/The Big Bang” is emotional, exciting and near perfect, with more twists than anyone could have predicted and an epic speech by Matt Smith Doctor Who Story.

4 The doctor’s wife

Doctor Who The Doctor 1's Wife

Acclaimed science fiction and fantasy author Neil Gaiman contributed two episodes to Matt Smith’s series Doctor Who. One – Series 7’s “Nightmare in Silver” – was a huge disappointment, but the other was far from it. “The Doctor’s Wife” It essentially asks the question, “What if the Doctor’s beloved time machine came to life?” And from that point on, it’s loads of fun. When the Doctor receives a message from a junkyard planet in a bubble universe, he sets out with Amy and Rory to find it.

There they encounter a malevolent living planet (voiced by Michael Sheen) intent on stealing the TARDIS and a human female named Idris (Suranne Jones) who has absorbed the time machine’s matrix. This leads to some great scenes where the Doctor is able to have a conversation with the TARDIS for the first time. Delightfully written and superbly performed, The Doctor’s Wife has gone down in history as one of the most original episodes of Doctor Who.

3 A Christmas song

Doctor Who A Christmas Carol

Christmas specials can be a godsend. Unless it’s a big event episode like above, they’re usually just toned-down, family-friendly stories designed for a mass audience on Christmas Day. And then there’s “A Christmas song”, which is not only one of the strongest episodes of Eleventh Doctor, but also one of the best Christmas specials ever. The film is loosely based on the Charles Dickens novel and follows how the Doctor uses time travel to convince a grumpy old man (played by Michael Gambon) to save a spaceship about to crash onto a planet’s surface. It’s a beautifully told story and a nice twist on the classic story that’s perfect to watch all year round.

2 Vincent and the Doctor

Vincent and the Doctor
BBC Studios

The first season of The 11th Doctor contained many great episodes including “Vincent and the Doctor”. The episode is packed with extraordinary lyrics by Richard Curtis, heartfelt emotions and brilliant dialogue. Likewise, the performances by Matt Smith, Karen Gillan and Tony Curran (Vincent van Gogh) were captivating and layered, compelling audiences to engage with Vincent. It’s also very sweet how much Van Gogh cared for Amy and if they ever did have a relationship that would be very sweet.

Likewise, seeing Bill Nighy show up and interact with Matt Smith’s Doctor was a welcome delight and a highlight of the episode. Vincent and The Doctor delivers one of the best episodes in the hit series about a historical figure. The closing moments still make viewers cry years later.

1 Doctor’s Day

Special feature

Was there really competition? Featuring three doctors, a brilliant performance by Billie Piper and a tragic but very important story about the Doctor, “The Day of the Doctor” is Matt Smith’s best episode. As a special offer for the 50th anniversary “The Day of the Doctor” celebrate everything Doctor Whowhat makes it perfect Doctor Who episode at all. Celebrate every incarnation of the Doctorfrom the very first Doctor, played by William Hartnell, to the Twelfth Doctor, played by Peter Capaldi, who at the time had not yet played the Doctor but had just been cast.

With an All Star Doctor Who With Matt Smith, David Tennant, Billie Piper and the incredible John Hurt as the War Doctor, The Day of The Doctor is truly something special. Written by Steven Moffat, Chris Chibnall, Mark Gatiss and Richard Curtis to name a few, The Day of the Doctor is exciting, emotional and hilarious Doctor Who episode that is by far one of the best.

Lindsay Lowe

Lindsay Lowe is a Worldtimetodays U.S. News Reporter based in Canada. His focus is on U.S. politics and the environment. He has covered climate change extensively, as well as healthcare and crime. Lindsay Lowe joined Worldtimetodays in 2023 from the Daily Express and previously worked for Chemist and Druggist and the Jewish Chronicle. He is a graduate of Cambridge University. Languages: English. You can get in touch with me by emailing:

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